New Mom, Crappy Wrists

by faiza
(ashburn, Va)

Hi Joshua,

I just recently had my first baby who is now 3 months old. I'm 25 years old and am generally a healthy person unless i'm sick with a cold or something. I had a healthy natural delivery as well.

However, I have always had "Snappy" wrists as my husband calls it, meaning, my wrists sprain very easily if I'm not careful, which is probably not helping my situation now with the tendonitis (which i'm very sure that is what it is.)

Recently, I would say a little over a week ago I felt pain coming out of the base of my thumb in my left wrist when trying to pick up my daughter.

Slowly, i realized that in the morning she would be crying to be picked up and I couldn't because the pain was so severe. As I noticed this with my left wrist, my right wrist started having the same exact issue.

Now, I'm at a point that if i try to pick up my baby my thumb all the way down to my wrist, forearm and all around my wrist just tightens up so that I cannot move it. I have to pull my hands back rotate slightly to loosen it up and then try again, that enabled me to pick her up all the while screaming all the cuss words I know in my head from the pain.

After realizing this, earlier today, I tried to pick up a dinner plate, wash dishs, and stir a pot and had severe pain. Later I tried to pick my daughter up again and as both my thumb and wrists tightened up, I pulled my arms back to loosen them up and tried again but it didn't work, they stayed stiff, the pain was so severe, I could not lift her.

At first I thought maybe because I'm nursing and her head rests on the inside of my elbow the pressure of it could be causing the pain, after doing some research and coming across your site I'm absolutely positive its tendonitis.

I did the tendonitis test with the thumb tucked into make a fist and tried to bend towards my pinky and was only able to make a slight movement which led to indescribable pain in both wrists.

After reading your site, I got ice and applied it as directed and boy were you right, you can definitely tell when you've hit a hot spot.

I do not have any major swelling, just some which is barely noticeable at the base of my thumbs on both my wrists.

I haven't applied any heat to it (thankfully.) I did try to use a sprain rub as I figured i had another sprain when it first started and that was pretty useless.

My husband tried to massage it and it just clicked a lot and ended with me screaming at him asking him why he was trying to kill me. I tried to wrap it and that did help some but I couldn't keep it wrapped as I do have to do dishs and bathe my daughter so i had to keep taking it off which inevitably i just got tired of putting it on.

It is absolutely worse in the morning, when I get up in the morning it takes me several minutes of trying to loosen up my wrists in order to pick up my baby, which is just awful, one, because it hurts so damn much, and two, my daughter is crying to be picked up and I physically am not able to. it is the most horrible feeling in the world.

My questions are several but to sum all of them, how can I make this stop without having to make an expensive doctors visit?

The pain at first was just when I tried to use my hands but now it is at a constant no matter what I do or don't do.

When i try to use my wrists or thumb everything just gets very stiff and i have to stop what i'm doing and let my wrist have a break. My wrists are so tender that it hurts to even scratch them too hard now.

I cannot afford to let my wrists "rest", i have a baby I have to take care of and that requires picking up 12 lbs of adorable several times a day.

I think this is just a very severe case of wrist tendonitis but could this be something else? Please do let me know. Thanks.

Eagerly awaiting your reply,


Joshua Answers:

Hi Faiza.

Congrats on the new baby!

And, Ouch!

Ok, first things first. For the very short term, you need to get creative and come up with some sort of 'scoop' method to pick your baby up without using all those wrist structures. I don't know. You'll have to get creative there.

This may be one of the VERY FEW times I suggest getting a super sturdy wrist brace.

Maybe you have Wrist Tendonitis, I don't know, but you absolutely have an acute Process of Inflammation!

Next, start Ice Dipping. As many dips as you can in a day to knock down the acute Inflammation process and get those pain enhancing chemicals out.

Do that solid for 7 days, and let me know what happens.

I also think you need to cover your nutritional bases.

1. Inflammation causes B6 deficiency. You have a lot of inflammation and pain in your wrists. B6 may really help that.

Might as well do B12 too, just for fun. (Methylcobalamin, not cyanocobalamin).

2. Magnesium FOR SURE!

3. Vitamin D.

I bet you a dollar you're deficient in Vit D and Magnesium.

Pregnancy etc can take a lot out of you nutritionally. A lot.

So it may be that you just have soft tissue problems, but I bet you'll either notice significant benefit from getting your nutrition levels up and/or that the pain will just go away/heal faster, what with the Ice dipping and what we'll do after that.

I'm also curious if you are hyper mobile. Meaning, your ligaments are looser than others. Could you touch your thumb to your forearm? Straighten your elbow past 180 degrees?

Also, any history of injury or anything? Or have your wrists always been prone to hurting?

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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